Inside the OJ Simpson trial: The crime and the acquittal
O.J. Simpson, also known by his nickname “The Juice” was part of, possibly, the most notorious murder trial in recent United States history. The former professional football player was accused of killing his ex-wife and her friend in 1995. The public was certain he was going to be convicted of the crime – but he wasn’t.
Twenty-five years later the court case is still discussed by pop culture, lawyers, and true crime fanatics. Depending on who you ask, people will either tell you the trial is an example of the imperfections in the justice system, or an example of what an expensive lawyer can do.
On June 12th, 1994 Nicole Brown Simpson, her family, and her friend Ronald Goldman went to a restaurant called Mezzaluna. Investigators know the meal had been finished, and everyone had left by 9:15pm because Nicole’s sister called the restaurant saying their mother had left her glasses behind.
At approximately 9:50pm Ronald Goldman left the restaurant with the glasses in hand. At 10:15pm Nicole’s neighbor heard a dog barking– this was later discovered to be Nicole’s dog and many assume this may well have been when the murders took place.
At 12:10am Nicole’s dog was found with bloody paws and led a neighbor to the dead bodies of Nicole and Ronald. Both had been stabbed to death in front of the Simpson home.
O.J., who lived a mere six minutes from Nicole, was also out and about that night. Sometime between 9:00pm – 9:30om he went to McDonald’s with his friend Kato Kaelin to get dinner. The two got back to O.J.’s house by 9:45pm and Kato went back to the guest house where he was staying at the time.
Kato reports having heard thumps outside the guest house at approximately 10:40pm, which was the same time a limo driver was buzzing O.J.’s intercom at the front of the house while getting no response. The driver did not reach O.J. until 11:00pm, after the driver witnessed a shadowy figure crossing the driveway.
The limo driver takes O.J. to the airport to catch a late night flight and the former football player tells the driver he had been showering when he was trying to buzz him.
The next day O.J. was called to be informed his ex-wife had died. His first response when he heard the news was “Who killed her?” However, nobody had told him foul play was suspected, yet.
It was known that while O.J. was married to Nicole the police had been called on him multiple times for domestic violence. O.J. even plead no contest to a spousal abuse accusation in 1989. He and Nicole would eventually split due to the unhealthy relationship. This made him an obvious suspect.
On June 17th, 1994 O.J. Simpson was charged with two counts of murder. However, when he didn’t turn himself in, a warrant was put out for his arrest. At 6:45pm on the 17th O.J. was spotted on the freeway in a white Ford Bronco. O.J. He was in the back of the vehicle and his friend was driving. The friend later told cops he kept going because O.J. had a gun pointed at him.
Police were led on a 60mph car chase for two hours. While this was all happening news networks caught wind of the low speed car chase and sent in new helicopters– the nation watched the chase unfold before their eyes. The chase led back to O.J.’s home where negotiations occurred. He surrendered, while clutching a family photo, at 9:00pm that evening.
Three large pieces of evidence were found at the scene of the crime. A hat, a shoe print, and a glove.
The hat found at the scene of the crime had hair fibers in it– an FBI crime lab confirmed the hairs were, indeed, O.J. Simpson’s. The shoe print matched O.J’s foot size, as well as a bloody shoe print found in his driveway. A bloody sock was also found with Nicole’s blood inside the man’s house.
The glove is, without a doubt, the most famous piece of evidence from this trial, if not in the history of murder trials. This glove, found at the scene of the crime, had three people’s blood on it– all of which were identified through DNA. The three people were Nicole, Ronald, and O.J. A matching glove was found behind the guest house at O.J.’s estate. The second glove also had the blood of all three people on it.
Despite evidence that clearly pointed to one obvious conclusion, O.J. was eventually found not guilty. There were a few reasons for this. Firstly, it was brought to the court’s attention that the evidence was potentially mishandled– which led to accusations of a contaminated crime scene. The second reason comes right back to the gloves.
O.J. was asked to try the gloves on and they didn’t fit. If you’ve never heard about the details of this case before this probably sounds shocking. It certainly wasn’t what the prosecution expected. After the fact, there are multiple factors people have considered as plausible explanations for why O.J. couldn’t get the gloves on.
For starters, O.J. was wearing latex gloves while he attempted to put the leather gloves on, which would make it difficult to slide them on, let alone fit. Secondly, the gloves had been soaked in blood, and as a method of preservation frozen and thawed multiple times. A material like leather can be affected by this with one of the side-effects being shrinking.
Thirdly, in 2016, it was revealed O.J. had been taking arthritis medication at the time, but stopped two weeks before the trial. This made his hands swollen, making it impossible for the gloves to fit even without the other variables.
O.J. got away with murder– there aren’t many people in this world who would disagree with the statement. He even published a book called If I Did it: Confessions of the Killer. The small solace that can be taken is he did serve a prison sentence later– for robbery. He was released in 2017 after being locked up for about nine years.
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